Michael's Monthly Column "Throwing My Loop"

Throwing My Loop…    

By:  Michael Johnson



     If only I could write the one intended.  The “Love” letter, I mean.  We all want to write the same one, you know.  The one we would write to our children that might help them.  If I could just find the words to help explain what I mean.  I can’t of course.  Whatever I wrote would just sound like every other parent – all preachy and dusty old.  Words with cobwebs on them.  Same old words all parents use when talking to their children.  Words like, “I just love you so much.  I want what’s best for you.  I’m not trying to interfere with your life.  If I can just get you to see what I’m talking about, then you won’t make the same mistakes I did.”  Words like that.  Those are the only words I know.  Learned them from my daddy, and he learned them from his.  The same ones all parents use.  And when we are young, we don’t listen very well.  But if we would – if only we would, life would not be easy, but it surely would be “easi – er.”
     Our daughter, Alison, just had a baby.  Her name is Wynn Marie.   And here’s the unbelievable part…she is the most beautiful baby the Lord ever made!  Can you believe that?  And she just happens to also be our granddaughter!  What a coincidence! Looking at little Wynn Marie – in her bunny suit – has caused me to want to tell her so many things.  If only I could find the words…

     Hello Wynn Marie,
     My goodness, what a miracle you are!  We were so worried about you and your mother for a time, but after a bit of a rocky start, here you are at home.  Thank you, Lord, thank you.
     And my, my, did He do a fine job of making you.  We have a Poco Bueno colt with hair just like yours – all black.  His name is Joe Ben Black, and you can ride him!  First though, your grandpa – Papa Miguel – wants to tell you few things.  Just a few things…and don’t worry if you forget them.  I’ll say them to you many times.
     You be careful, you hear?  We love you and we don’t want anything to happen to you.
     You might consider looking at some of the alphabet books we bought you during the first week of your life.  It’s never too early to get started, you know - and never too early to start working on scholarships.
     Don’t hang around with people who don’t care and try.  Some of that laziness will rub off on you.
     Only go out with nice boys.
     Let us know what time you’re coming home.
     Be good to your momma and daddy.
     When you have a problem in school – bad grade on a test or something like that – don’t fret about it.  Call me and say, “Granpa, I made a bad grade.  Didn’t bother me though ‘cause like you always say, “Everybody makes mistakes.  Just try again.”  That’s what I plan to do.  I’ll cowgirl up.  I’ll see this event for what it is – just a stone in the path.”
     When something bad happens to you in life, you remember what your grandpa said, “We never learn anything when life is going well.”  You remember that you are a child of God, and “all things work together for good.” Oh, and in trying times, keep this thought at the top of your mind, “I’m stronger than I think.  I’m more than I know.”  And the storm will pass.
     When you hear other people say, “I can’t,” don’t say anything out loud, but say to yourself, “I can.”
     Remember if you sit at the back and don’t listen, you won’t do well.  When that happens to some people, they say, “Well, it’s ‘cause I’m dumb.”  That’s not the answer.  It’s ‘cause they are sitting at the back.  Sit at the front. 
      Show up every day.
     Be early. 
     If you ever have trouble in math, call me…and I’ll put your grandmother on the phone.
    If you ever doubt your ability, say to yourself, “My grandpa never doubted my ability.  He always believed in me.  He knew I was special – so I must be.”  You have to believe in your self first.  If you don’t, know one else will.  You have to be a success in your own room, in your own house, and your own heart before you go outside. 
     Have faith, Wynn.  People think it comes from the inside.  I don’t think so.  I think it comes from the outside. The “substance of things hoped for…the evidence of things not seen.”  See?  The words are “substance” and “evidence.”  Not thoughts.  Real.  Great power here.  ‘Bout all I’ve figured out here so far.  So much more if I can just see it.  We will look together – you and me.  I know first place to look when you come…on the pond where the wood ducks are.  Good place to look.  Oh, and I’ll pack us a lunch.  You want a boiled egg with yours?
     Open your own doors.  No one will come open them for you.  Your grandpa certainly would if he could, but the Spirit would rather I didn’t.  He’s not being mean - it’s just that He has us do some things on our own.
     If you will just do that, when you are grown, and when you have accomplished so many things in life, people will ask you, “Wynn, how did you do all these things?  And you can say, “My grandpa taught me that the Lord did not make us to be ordinary.”
     Oh, and it’s important to remember the greatest secret.  Be nice to people.  Early in your life decide to treat everyone the same.  Talk to your grandmother about this.  She’s really good at it.
     Oh, and you have to decide.  See, I’ve been thinking about this a long time, and here’s what your grandpa has come to.  You can do ‘bout whatever you want ‘cause the angels will come and help you.  (That’s what they’re for.)  Here’s the trick…
     So many people ask, “What am I supposed to do?”  That method won’t work.  Here’s one that will.  You have to decide!  You think about it.  Think about it while you are young and as you grow older.  When you decide – when you find what’s in your heart that you want to do with your days, then you tell them!  Then they can engage.  Once your target comes clear, ask them to help you.  See, I’ve come to believe they are bound as long as we have doubt about the outcome.  It’s really difficult for them to help us unless we begin.  Just the slightest attempt – the smallest rise – on your part, releases them…frees them to act.  Once we are clear, then they can fly down and around, and pour so much help on you…well, little sister, in my experience, sometimes it’s been too much.  Too wonderful to bear.  That’s the way it is with you.  You are something.  
     So little Wynn Marie, your momma and your daddy, and your grandparents – we all stand ready.  Like the angels, we will watch over you and we’ll help you.  But no one can help you like you.  You have been well-equipped.  You ‘member all the things your grandpa Miguel said. 
     And if you forget?  Don’t worry.  I’ll say them many times.   

     We wish you well. 

     Love, Papa Miguel 

                                                                                         --Michael Johnson



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